The Seventh Voyage

The Seventh Voyage :

"After my sixth voyage, I felt that I had enough of travel. I had decided to settle down because I was much older now. But alas!

That was not to be.

One fine morning, a royal messenger knocked at my door. He told me that the Caliph had asked for me. I went to the palace immediately. Once there the Caliph said, "Dear Sindbad, you brought many great gifts from the wealthy King of Serendib. Now I want you to take some gifts in return to him."

I said, "Sir, I am old now. I can't take much of sea travel any more."

But the Caliph insisted that I was the only person fit for the task. .~

"You can lead a restful life on your return. Moreover, I am giving you a thousand gold coins for this voyage."

I accepted that proposal with great reluctance. So a few days later, I was on the sea with the Caliph's ship and crewmen. I carried a letter from the Caliph to the King of Serendib. Gold clothes, silk garments, emerald-studded pots and plates, two large, finely carved royal beds and a rare tablet once possessed by King Solomon made up the list of gifts I carried for the King of Serendib.

After a peaceful trip, I anchored at the port of Serendib. I delivered the letter and the gifts to the king. He asked me to stay but I was eager to get back to Baghdad. So he gave me a wonderful gift and bid me a tearful farewell. As my ship sailed away we were attacked by pirates. They took hold of all our precious treasures and gifts and then took all of us prisoners. They took us onto their ships and left us in a strange land where they had sold all of us as slaves.

Due to God's blessings, I had a kind and rich merchant as my master. I served him well as he treated me well. In time he learnt that I was good at shooting with a bow and arrow. He asked me to accompany him to the forest. There he showed me a tall tree and said, "Sindbad, go up the tree. Soon a herd of elephants will come by. You must shoot as many as you can." With these instructions, he left me in the forest.

I passed the night waiting for the elephants but none came in sight at dawn. I heard their trumpets from far. As they came under the tree, I took aim and hit the largest of the herd. I let the herd pass and then climbed down the tree. I went and told my master of my feat. He was very pleased to see that I had slain the tusked elephant. He said, "These ivory tusks are of great value. Pull them out and bury the elephant in a large pit."

My master helped me in that task. Then we went home with the tusks. Now I was sent to the forest everyday and I killed many elephants for my master. In a few days, my master became very rich by selling all the ivory he got from the dead elephants.

One day as I was sitting on a tall tree to wait for the elephants, they did arrive. But this time all of them surrounded the tree and looked up at me. I thought that they had revenge on their mind and I would be dead in minutes. One of the elephants uprooted the tree I sat on, so I found myself lying on the ground. One of the elephant picked me up by his trunk and placed me on his back. Then all the elephants followed him as he walked on with me on his back. The elephant walked on to a hill side. There he put me down on the ground using his trunk and walked away. I looked around to observe many elephant bones and ivory tusks lying in heaps. It was an elephant's graveyard. The elephants did not want me to kill them so they had brought me to their store of ivory.

I started walking back to my master's house and it took me two days to reach there. He was worried when he had seen the uprooted tree. I told him what had happened. Then both of us went to the hillside and gathered a lot of ivory. On our way back, my master said, "Dear Sindbad, I am glad for all that you've done for me. You are free from today. I will give you a share of these valuable ivory. You can take them back to Baghdad on the next ship that sets sail for Baghdad."

So the next day, my master put me on a ship to Baghdad with some ivory tusks. He also gave me some other goods. I traded all these at the ports we stopped at on my way back to Baghdad.

When my ship reached Baghdad, I went to the Caliph's palace and told him about my new adventures. He, too, wished to record my story in gold letters. His manuscript maker completed the task and I received some gifts from the Caliphs. At last, I settled to a peaceful life in Baghdad."

Sindbad turned to Hindbad and said, "So Hindbad, now you know that I have gone through much to lead a wealthy, comfortable and luxurious life at this age."

Hindbad agreed and said, "Yes, dear Sindbad, your troubles deserve the pleasures and riches, you possess now. May you live for a hundred years more?"

Sindbad gave a hundred gold coins to Hindbad and said, "Hindbad, I'd like you to be my best friend. Do not work as a porter any more. Come to meet me everyday."

So Hindbad became a dear friend and a regular visitor at Sindbad's mansion. Soon kind Sindbad made Hindbad a rich man and Hindbad led a comfortable life to the end.

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